Northern Illinois, with Jim Bradley romping in his first game, thoroughly enjoyed playing California State ( Fullerton). The Huskies roasted the visitors 116-82.
Kansas hosted Kentucky in Allen Fieldhouse, named for Phog Allen, Adolph Rupp's old coach, and Rupp was moved to display sentiment. He visited the arthritic Allen and said, "You are always happy to return to the scene where you received your opportunity in life." The Jayhawks almost ruined Rupp's mellow mood by forcing Kentucky into a zone as Bud Stallworth scored 26. But the Wildcats pulled it out 79-69, ending Kansas' 28-game home winning streak. Kansas did beat Xavier 75-57 at home.
Wisconsin-Eau Claire, averaging over 101 points a game, won three in a row.
North Carolina made Rice Krispies out of the visiting Southwest Conference team, 127-69. Even with NIT Most Valuable Player Bill Chamberlain in the stands for skipping wind sprints in practice, the Tar Heels sank 27 of 35 field-goal attempts, a crackling 77%, and had Rice 70-39 at halftime.
North Carolina State made hay without grass. A district judge called a foul on the fuzz (illegal search), and starters Paul Coder and Bob Heuts were cleared of a marijuana possession charge. They were hardly needed as the Pack smoked past Atlantic Christian 113-75 and Georgia 92-81.
Maryland, high-rated despite starting three sophomores, looked green against Brown. Tom McMillen had only 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Maryland beat the visitors by only 100-83. Against George Washington, however, McMillen tossed in 35 and the Terps won 117-96.
Florida steam-pressed Louisville to ruin the head-coaching debut of Denny Crum, former John Wooden assistant at UCLA, with a 70-69 upset. A glum Crum conceded that the press had taken Louisville out of the scoring crease, and Guard Tony Miller put some starch in the Cardinals with a 27-point total. Louisville did, however, mangle tiny Bellarmine 116-58.
The day before Florida State's season opener, highly regarded sophomore Lawrence McCray, 6'11", came to practice with a doctor's note saying he had the flu. It was Oglethorpe that felt sick, however, losing to State 104-65. Eastern Kentucky felt a little better, losing only 96-83.
With 7-foot Tom Payne lost to the pros and 6'10" Mark Soderberg transferred to Utah, Kentucky's big man is Ronnie Lyons, who stands 5'10". Lyons broke up Northwestern's full-court press and set up several easy baskets, enabling Kentucky to scratch the other Wildcats 94-85. "The people will holler for me to use Ronnie, but I can't play him," Adolph Rupp said before the game. "He's too small, and he throws the ball away too much." Afterward, Rupp said, "The little man saved our life."